Guns. Knives. Explosions. Action. 80’s. One-liners. Old people. Young people. Somewhere-in-the-middle people. Cigars. Just another day in the life of an Expendable. These films are nothing more than mindless fun and I’m alright with that. These guys (and gal) know exactly what they’re doing and it’s clear that they’re having a hell-of-a-time doing it. More power to them!
After risking their lives time and again for their country, the Expendables are back in action to rescue and old member and a dear friend to Barney (Sylvester Stallone). With him, are Christmas (Jason Statham), Gunnar (Dolph Lundgren), and Toll Road (Randy Couture). The gang finds Doc (Wesley Snipes) locked in a prison transport and they manage to rescue him, before things got too ugly. Before they could head home, they had to rendezvous with Caesar (Terry Crews) at a port, in order to stop a shipment from going down. Nothing could prepare them for the enemy they would see. As it turns out, Stonebanks (Mel Gibson) was an ex-expendable that Barney had supposedly killed and before he got away this time, he nearly killed Caesar.
Spooked that the rest of his team may not return from their next mission, Barney has them stay behind, as he scouts out a new team with his buddy Bonaparte (Kelsey Grammer). They manage to get the hacker Thorn (Glen Powell), the soldier Mars (Victor Ortiz), the fighter Smilee (Kellan Lutz), the badass bouncer Luna (Ronda Rousey), and quick Galgo (Antonio Banderas). They’re all working for a man named Drummer (Harrison Ford), who works alongside Trench (Arnold Schwarzenegger) and Yin Yang (Jet Li). While they don’t entirely succeed, they do make progress in capturing Stonebanks. However, it’s going to take them all to kill a bunch of bad guys and save the day!
The Expendables 3 is easily the best of the franchise and it’s got everything to offer those looking for action, explosions, one-liners, and absurdity. I mean, if you’ve seen the other two Expendables films, you’ve got an idea of what this film will be like, but you don’t have any idea about how much fun it is. With some younger and older additions to the Expendables team, this film finds a way to reach out to nearly every audience and appeal to every type of person. If you’re in the mood for seeing your favorite 80’s actions stars hold their own against the (questionable) stars of today, you best get to that theater as soon as you can!
Sylvester Stallone does what he does best, which is no surprise, and he totally kicks ass in this film. He’s the fastest gun in the 65+ club and he can still fight like Rocky. Jason Statham is still the coolest guy there and his knife wielding and throwing skills still impress. Dolph Lundgren is as massive as ever and he and Randy Couture team up to wreck some people. Terry Crews isn’t as heavily involved, but he does get to spray some baddies with a .50 cal Minigun. Arnold Schwarzenegger is really only there to mutter his classic one-liners, but that more than pleased myself and the audience. Jet Li does what he does best and he and Arnold make an interesting team. Even Kelsey Grammer gets some great jokes, as he serves as the Nick Fury of the film, assembling new members of the Expendables.
Of all the fresh faces, it’s Antonio Banderas who steals the show and provides the most laughs and some of the best action. Whenever he’s on-screen, the other characters are groaning and we’re absolutely loving it. He’s doing stuff no one his age should be capable of. With the addition of Wesley Snipes, the film gets a lot more funny and we see Snipes doing some seemingly impossible Parkour and he still manages to cut people up as he goes. Victor Ortiz fits in well with Couture and Lundgren, as he punches and kicks his way to victory. Kellan Lutz is brooding and doesn’t respect authority, but he’s loyal and uses his skills to kill a ton of bad guys. Ronda Rousey, another Wrestler, takes names and kicks ass in spectacular fashion and she outshines a lot of the men too. Glen Powell brings a lot to the table with his blend of athleticism and brains. The new kids on the block do a great job of showcasing why new could be better and they work surprisingly well together.
If you want a high body count, you’re looking in the right place. While this is the only Expendables film to garner a PG-13, the death doesn’t stop and it’s just the blood that goes away. I’m willing to bet close to 500 people died, at the very least. They die in all types of ways and the elaborate killings from the Expendables members were pretty awesome. The blend of new technology and classic guns and explosives provides for a ton of fun. Of course, this film isn’t complete without aerial warfare and the smoking of many cigars. This film clearly knows who its audience is and it plays right into their hand. Not only is the story much better than the last films, but it’s also just more fun and loose. Mel Gibson as the bad guy was the perfect direction to take this film, because he brings so much excitement to the film and you feel like he legitimately pisses of Stallone. It all works much better than it should and I loved that!
Now, with as many veteran actors as there are in this massive cast, each is going to be trying to make the most of their screen time. There were many moments where I needed a translator, or a de-mumbler for Stallone, Ford, and Schwarzenegger. I did feel like the film ran a bit too long and it really drags in the middle when there’s a lack of shooting and killing. For all that time when people are inaudibly talking, they could have been showcasing more of their action talents. If you really want me to get critical, the dialogue isn’t great at all, but what did you expect? If you’ve seen the other two Expendables films, I’m sure you have some idea of how bad the writing is, but that’s part of what makes it fun. This film is practically critic-proof, as it’s made for a select audience that’s going to be entertained in one of the best ways possible.
The Expendables 3 is easily my favorite of the group and I had such a fun time watching these ridiculously awesome characters go to work on the bad guys. If you’ve ever seen an 80’s action film, you’re sure to find a ton of enjoyment from this film, as it’s got all the best people for the job. In so many films that promise destruction, there are very few casualties and that’s just not the case with this film. The guns are always blazing, the knives are always flying, and the explosions never stop. I’d recommend this film more than most, but only if you know exactly what you’re looking for. If you’re like me, I had an awesome guys night with this film and I couldn’t stop thinking about all the “epic” things that I saw.
The Expendables 3 Trailer